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RE: [GreenYes] smart chip non-recyclable ink cartridges
I don't know if the SmartChips prevent ALL recycling options from taking place.  Those cartridges may be recyclable by the printer manufacturer.  The question is more of the monopoly on the ink jet cartridge options (which affects cost and reuse/recycle options).

Different Scenarios:  
Home inkjet refilling is a common practice where you go to the local store and pick up the inks and the injector to refill your cartridges which enables you to refill your own cartridges as many times as needed.  Once the printing quality goes down, it's time to get a new cartridge. (I suspect as smartchips become commonplace the companies that produce "home refill sets" will have to find alternative revenue generators - but not ink cartridges because 
that leads to the next issue . . .)

Off-brand recycling cartridges have always been another option for purchase.  These cartridges have been just as recyclable as the Printer Brand because they are basically the same ink jet cartridge.  The off-brand cartridges kept some competition in pricing prior to the "smart chip," because Printer companies knew if they overpriced their cartridges customers would chose the lower priced brand.  (The smart chip only printers have much more expensive cartridges.)

What the smart chip has done is given full control to the printer manufacturer to be the only printer cartridge that can be used.  This allows the printer manufacturer to control all decisions having to do with ink jet cartridge practices.  The smart chip makes it so no one can use the home refill kits anymore, thus abolishing the reuse option.  The smart chip makes it so no one can buy off-brand cartridges anymore, and potentially render any off-brand cartridges unrecyclable.  Because, if the off-brand can't turn those cartridges around for resale . . .

I am not certain whether the major printer manufacturers noted are recycling the "smart chip cartridges or not...  

Interesting facts I found with my Epson C60 which takes the smart chip . . .

1) If you try to refill a cartridge and put it back in, it renders the printer "dead." When calling Epson support they begrudgingly sent me a new printer, but they explained that I had not followed manufacturers directions by trying to use another cartridge. They had to replace the printer.  (How's that for waste reduction?)

2) I have been told (not confirmed) that the printer cartridges tracks the ink, not by the actual volume left, but by how many prints have been sent and estimates when the cartridge should be emptied - and refuses to print anymore when that magic number has been reached, regardless of whether ink remains.  (WR, again?)

3) When voicing my objections to Epson customer service they said Epson sees this as a step forward in good customer service because by only allowing their cartridges to be used they offer the chance of a longer life printer by insuring their printer doesn't break down by using "inferior ink" that could shorten the printer's life.  


-----Original Message-----
From: michelle smith [mailto:pcrecycles@no.address]
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 11:50 AM
To: kspringr@no.address; greenyes@no.address
Subject: Re: [GreenYes] smart chip non-recyclable ink cartridges

I am hoping that someone can clarify this printer cartridge recycling war.  Are companies losing money by recycling the cartridges?  For example, we send our deskjet cartridges back to Hewlett Packard.  Why do they offer this service if they are losing money?  Or do they not recycle them and is it for PR only?  If someone could clarify why companies want to prevent the recycling of cartridges (hence the making of these Smarchips), I would appreciate it.  Thank you! 
Michelle Smith 

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